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Book Thread


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161 replies to this topic

#21 steef

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:27 AM

Half way through "god is not great" by Hitchens. Fantastic read. Then I have his collection of essays "arguably" to start, that will be a serious undertaking.
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#22 Amber Avenger

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:03 AM

Currently working my way through
Posted Image

It started off in bizarre fashion but I'm now gripped. Its a book like no other, seen through the eyes of a 15 year old autistic/aspergers boy (not sure which).


That's next for me - a few people have reccomended it to me, so really looking forward to it.

Just finished Room by Emma Donoghue and that has a similarly unique narrative as it's all told from the POV of a 5 year old boy. You wouldn't think it works, but after a few pages it really does. Not read a lot of books lately but despite the occasionally grisly subject matter it was one of the more enjoyable ones.
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#23 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:27 AM

Currently ploughing through various book presents. Amongst others:

  • I, Partridge (We need to talk about Alan). Very enjoyable, and I think I'll actually go to the bother of assembling his recommended playlist next time I read it. :D
  • P.J.O'Rourke - Holidays in Heck. Not really a sequel to the superb 'Holidays in Hell', but still the best writing I've seen of his for a long time.
  • Ryszard Kapuscinski - Shah of Shahs. Covers the decline of the house of Pahlavi and the beginning of the rule of the Ayatollahs. Brilliantly written as ever.
  • Stuart Maconie - Hope and Glory. Not his best, but still enjoyable and informative.


I was genuinely disappointed to finish this book, it was perfect Partridge. Not many books would make me actually laugh out loud.

As it's Dickens season I thought I would see what the fuss is about. About 100 pages into Great Expectations and it certainly has a quality about it.

#24 Futtocks

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:36 AM

I was genuinely disappointed to finish this book, it was perfect Partridge. Not many books would make me actually laugh out loud.

It could so easily have been yet another novelty cash-in knock-off for Christmas, but some real work has gone into it. A 'keeper'. :)

And I've now got a fair number of the tracks on his playlist. When complete, I'll re-read and obey instructions. :D

As it's Dickens season I thought I would see what the fuss is about. About 100 pages into Great Expectations and it certainly has a quality about it.

Once you get into his style, you barely notice the blizzard of semicolons. :P

Currently reading some more Kapuscinski; this time 'The Shadow of the Sun', which is a collection of memories of his times in Africa. Just a wonderful, humane chronicler of the world.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#25 gingerjon

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:38 AM

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Used my Christmas tokens to further swell my pretensions and can now recommend Andrew Graham-Dixon's biography/assessment of Caravaggio. As well as a fair and balanced account of a dramatic life that takes in murder, rape, the Knights of St John on Malta, various popes, plague, duels, poems about "Johnny Bo//ock" and the insanity of Italian politics in the 1590s and 1600s it's brilliant at talking about his work and its wider context.
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#26 Steve May

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:20 AM

Just finished Room by Emma Donoghue and that has a similarly unique narrative as it's all told from the POV of a 5 year old boy. You wouldn't think it works, but after a few pages it really does. Not read a lot of books lately but despite the occasionally grisly subject matter it was one of the more enjoyable ones.


I thought that was absolutely brilliant.

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#27 Steve May

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

Currently working my way through
Posted Image

It started off in bizarre fashion but I'm now gripped. Its a book like no other, seen through the eyes of a 15 year old autistic/aspergers boy (not sure which).

Its great stuff once you get into the unusual style of it.


I read this a few years back.

Very good. I know Swindon very well so a lot of the locations are very real to me.

That's me.  I'm done.


#28 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:26 AM

Mark Steel's In Town on my Kindle

At Home, by Bill Bryson in hard copy.

Not up for owt serious at the mo.
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#29 hindle xiii

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:11 PM

I have Bear Grylls' autobiography Mud, Sweat and Tears on order from the library to enjoy over the weekend.

Today I recieved delivery of Heston Blumenthal The Fat Duck Cookbook for a mere £19. Splendid, my collection of his books is swelling nicely.

I'm not really one for fiction, although I do have my eye on borrowing some horror novels I got a friend for Christmas. Also, I've had Birdsong for a few years now but I never got a round to reading it, and now I'm stuck with a conundrum because I want to watch the BBC adaptation as well! :wacko:

Edited by hindle xiii, 18 January 2012 - 07:12 AM.

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#30 Derwent

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

Working my way through Charlie Owen's quartet of novels set in the fictional northern town of Hanstead. Have finished Horse's ###### and Foxtrot Oscar, now into Bravo Jubilee with Two Tribes to follow. Very funny with a real edge to them, some of the characters are superbly crafted.

Edited by Derwent, 17 January 2012 - 09:25 PM.

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#31 Futtocks

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:19 AM

Just finished a re-read of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Recommended.

Currently reading 'That old Ace in the Hole' by Annie Proulx. Not quite sure about this one yet.

And, just arrived from Amazon, Gil-Scott-Heron's 'The Last Holiday' and George MacDonald Fraser's 'The Complete McAuslan'. :)

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#32 Futtocks

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:08 PM

Currently reading 'That old Ace in the Hole' by Annie Proulx. Not quite sure about this one yet.

Not a whole lot happens, to be honest, but it was okay.

And, just arrived from Amazon, Gil-Scott-Heron's 'The Last Holiday' and George MacDonald Fraser's 'The Complete McAuslan'. :)

Reading the Gil Scott-Heron book while commuting and 'McAuslan' at home. The GS-H takes a while to get into its groove, but is good stuff. Everyone knows his dad played for Celtic, right? But did you also know:
1. As a child, he was one of only three volunteers not to back out when Jackson (Tennessee) decided to end segregation in the city's main high school.
2. He once played Ko-Ko the Executioner in a production of 'The Mikado'. :ohmy:

The 'McAuslan' trilogy is based on George MacDonald Fraser's post-war military career, which was covered in the superb 'Quartered safe out here'. 'McAuslan', on the other hand, is a more fictionalised take on actual events, with names and places changed to protect those involved. It is also written in a more broadly comedic style, but is a great read and very very funny.

It is probably even funnier if you've had actual military experience. The titular soldier is an accident-prone, filthy, unkempt Glaswegian private, described as "the worst soldier since Ancient Pistol" and most of the stories revolve around him and his uncanny ability to muck up everything and anything.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#33 Mumby Magic

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:08 PM

Left Tony Blairs for a bit. Not Wroted the best. :ph34r:

Read Stanley Gene's and now on Sean Longs. Got Steve Jobs, Lee Evans and Alan Sugar's second to read.

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#34 Steve May

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:11 PM

Thought I needed cheering up a bit so picked up some more Thomas Hardy.

So far I'm enjoying it. I think things will turn out pretty well for young Bathsheba. You can always rely on Hardy for a few laughs and a happy ending.

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#35 Futtocks

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

Re-reading 'The Raw Shark Texts' by Stephen Hall. A weirdly inventive plot, written pretty well.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#36 Geoff Lee

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

When I heard that Stuart Maconie will be speaking at an event in Waterstones in Leeds in May, I decided to read his book "Pies and Prejudice. In search of the North".
My first impressions on flicking through it are that it looks similar in style and content to "Lancashire Where Women Die of Love" by Charles Nevin, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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#37 gingerjon

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:57 PM

Reading some short stories by Saki at the minute.

Nicely grumpy about the human condition.
Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#38 Futtocks

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:17 PM

When I heard that Stuart Maconie will be speaking at an event in Waterstones in Leeds in May, I decided to read his book "Pies and Prejudice. In search of the North".
My first impressions on flicking through it are that it looks similar in style and content to "Lancashire Where Women Die of Love" by Charles Nevin, which I thoroughly enjoyed.


I like Maconie's books. 'Adventures on the High Teas' is his search for Middle England and if you like 'Pies and Prejudice' you 'll like this one too.

I'll investigate that Nevin book - thanks. :)

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#39 Futtocks

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

Reading some short stories by Saki at the minute.

Nicely grumpy about the human condition.


I've lost my Saki collection (must buy another), but the scheming Clovis Sangrail is one of my favourite literary characters, especially in 'The Unrest Cure'. :D

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#40 timtum

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:27 PM

I've just finished "The man who fell from the sky" by William Norris.

A true story of one of the world's richest men who fell to his death out of an aeroplane halfway across the Channel, a classic locked door mystery, and the search 60 years later for who did it. Written by former Times journo and ITN political correspondent (and a customer of mine!). Fascinating stuff.
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